Week of: April 9, 2017
Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
(Psalm 118:22, NRSV)
South Korea is a mountainous peninsula; its rocks date to the Precambrian era. Visiting the studio of a famous sculptor, Chang Gon Kim, was like looking into the heart of these mountains. Gigantic pieces of marble and granite dwarfed the massive cranes and bulldozers, making the machines look like toys. Located near the DMZ, the ground of the studio was salted with discarded pieces of stone that glittered when the sun touched their surface. How did the artist know what to keep and what to cast away?
His answer was simple, as translated: “He listens.” How do we prepare for the One who comes in the name of the Lord? Listen. Listen through the deep silence of prayer. Shelter in the shadow of the Rock in the Wilderness. We must learn to listen or our songs of praise will be easily twisted into chants of hate.
Out of the many forms in this stony place was one that I could clearly recognize. Measuring over 15 feet high, two gray granite figures were outlined against the fading light on the horizon. One standing. One kneeling. No faces with human expressions were evident yet, but they were holding on to each other for dear life. I could see that. I could hear that. The stones were speaking. In Korean or English, it was the same. “Prodigal, welcome home.”
Palm Sunday is when God sends the Holy One into a far country, be that a nation’s capital or a pig farm, to find “we who have gone astray” and bring us home.
Engaging your worship artists in experiencing worship through stone.
Consider giving a small stone or pebble to all of your choir members, dancers, ringers, and other worship artists during Holy Week. Invite them to carry the stone with them and to hold it at least once a day to remember that as they prepare for Holy Week and Easter worship services they are called and gifted by the one who is the Chief Cornerstone.
Holy One, Rock of Ages, teach our stony hearts to sing Hosanna! Amen.